Follow the money–Trudeau and Liberal bagman Stephen Bronfman, Bob Rae, Israel defender
Montreal professor Dyalah Hamzah strips Trudeau bare. Edited for space.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’: an open letter to Justin Trudeau regarding Palestine
How can Justin Trudeau recognize the “devastating legacy” of the colonization of Canada and continue to be a Zionist?
Whether it is your bias in favor of Israel that recently cost you your seat on the UN Security Council, it is a fact that in the space of five years you have voted “no” 50 times to UN resolutions in favor of Palestine. Of the 166 “no” votes by Canada since 2000 this represents an embarrassing average. Neither the protests of Marc-André Blanchard, nor the denials of Bob Rae, your successive ambassadors to the UN, have been able to diminish the echo of your campaign slogan, as reckless as it is boastful: “Canada is back.”
No, Canada is not back, nor can it be, as long as you sacrifice the rule-of-law, in its various applications, on the altar of the United States. Canada is not, and will not be, back as long as you evade a critical examination of your authoritarian allegiance to Zionism – an allegiance that admits of no opposition from your own government. Far from the clamor of Zionist pressure groups and the blinders of Israeli propaganda, please do see and hear what otherwise looks you in the eye and bursts your eardrums.
Zionism in Canada is a cult: a religious one, for those who conflate Judaism and nationalism; a political one, for those who are illiberal, who well know that violent and eradicative ideologies need an array of anti-democratic laws to shield them. Consider the historical Zionism of the pioneers – Herzl’s foundational Zionism; “transfer-Zionism”, that imagined by the Zangwill, Syrkin, Motzkin and Aaronsohn; or Jabotinsky’s revisionist Zionism. Consider, too, Netanyahu’s Zionism today and some of its laws – to mention but the most recent one, the “Israel Nation-State of the Jewish People” Law.
Zionism in Canada is a bipartisan dogma, which Conservatives and Liberals alike firmly uphold. In Canada today the rules of blasphemy apply to Zionism. Anyone who questions it or criticizes it is first publicly shamed, then quasi-criminalized. With the help of motions and resolutions, definitions, declarations, and tweets, we have built in the space of a few years, in Canada, an impressive gagging arsenal. Here are its pillars:
– BDS. Ever since you assumed power, whether in a private or official capacity, you have not ceased to condemn, vilify and slander the peaceful resistance movement, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, launched 15 years ago by Palestinian civil society. In 2015, you meddled in McGill University’s passage of a pro-BDS motion, declaring that the movement “has no business being on Canadian campuses”; in 2016, your party supported an anti-BDS parliamentary resolution, in the name of friendship and economic and diplomatic relations between Canada and Israel; in 2018, in apologizing for Canada’s rejection of Jewish refugees during WWII, you chanted this worn-out Zionist catchphrase, associating criticism of Israeli ultraviolence with anti-Semitism; in 2019, at a town hall at Brock University, you explained that you uphold your condemnation of BDS, not for foreign policy reasons, but “because of Canadian values”: what values Mr. Trudeau? The colonial ones that you share with Israel?
– IHRA. To give legal legitimacy to your witch hunt, your government announced, in June 2019, that it would formally adopt a controversial and dangerous definition of anti-Semitism, that of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, by including it in its antiracism strategy. A definition that allows “friends of Israel” to achieve exactly their goal: to conflate opposition to Zionism and anti-Semitism. A definition above all which now legitimizes the physical and moral harassment practiced by the subsidiaries of Zionist violence in North America against whole sections of the population: namely, those Canadians of Palestinian descent and all those who support them.
That energy that you deploy in support of the unsupportable, would be better channeled in supporting international law. Recently, calls for a change of course in Canadian foreign policy have become deafening. Almost as much as your silence on the annexation scheme for Palestine, fomented by Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu last January. At the time, you failed to consider international sanctions against Israel, which is required by your formal adherence to the “two-state solution”, as well as by the inadmissibility of territorial acquisition by war and its illegal settlement by settlers. It is also required by the absurd impunity of that state, which violates day and night its occupied populations, evading the 4th Geneva Convention, which Canada has, however, ratified. By now, you probably feel exempted from responding to Trump’s annexationist plan, since the United Arab Emirates, and now Bahrain, have just announced a normalization of their relations with Israel. But you are well aware that Netanyahu was quick to apprise us that the said annexation has only been postponed.
Finally, allow us to submit to you some very general recommendations that could serve as a framework for the overhaul of Canadian foreign policy:
1. Conduct the latter without demagogy or avoidance: 2. Make a conscious commitment: remember that if Lester Pearson and Ivan Rand succeeded, in 1947, in becoming the double lever of partition in Canada, one as the Secretary of State, the other at the United Nations, it is because an alternative diplomacy, just and prescient, that of Elizabeth MacCallum, had been stifled. Remember that she had advocated against voting for partition. Remember how she had foreseen the wars to come. When it comes to the Middle East, it seems that Canada has long favored ideologues over experts. Will you break the spell, Mr. Trudeau? Will you clean up around you?
3. Finally, address our foreign policy without denial, without duplicity: Make an effort: when you go before the UN to recognize the “devastating legacy” of the colonization of Canada by the white man, which took place without the consent and participation of indigenous peoples, how can you continue to be a Zionist? One can only assume two things: either you are openly hypocritical, or you are fundamentally ignorant: for Palestine 1920-2020 is one hundred years of servitude. From the British Mandate up to the American Plan.
Université de Montréal